The prospect of free compost bins caused hours of traffic congestion on the Isle of Lewis. Hundreds of residents brought a main road near Stornoway to a standstill for almost three hours as they queued to get a council compost bin.
The bin handout took place at the same time as the Stornoway half-marathon, with more than 130 runners.
Western Isles Council's officials closed down the giveaway early because of "public safety fears".
The Scottish Executive-initiative involved the local authority giving away up to three free plastic compost bins per family at the Creed Park Environmental Centre, outside Stornoway.
The bins, made from recycled material, were part of a green scheme to increase recycling in the island.
But even before the centre opened at 1000 BST there were already queues stretching miles in both directions.
Police admitted they were "staggered" at the response to the free bins, an offer which was open to any resident on Lewis.
Acting Sgt John Murray of Stornoway police office, said: "There were hundreds of vehicles with tailbacks miles in each direction. It was unbelievable, all for some plastic bins."
"Maybe it was because they were free. I don't know? It was incredible the extent that some people went to, just to get these bins. But we had to take a decision to stop the giveaway because of public safety concerns. There were massive tailbacks and no emergency vehicle could have got through."